|Making the most of English Heritage membership at Framlingham Castle
With the last weekend of the Easter holidays looming, I thought this article I wrote for Mirror Online might provide some inspiration for family activities:
I wrote about making the most of membership, and taking advantage of family-friendly benefits offered by everyone from the National Trust and English Heritage to supermarkets, banks and building societies.
The article highlights some of the offers available from different companies, and where relevant how to get membership for less, including:
– Tesco Clubcard
– Merlin Annual Pass
– National Trust
– English Heritage
– Club Lloyds
– Nationwide Simply Rewards
– Sainsbury’s and Tesco Bank credit cards
As a family, we’ve enjoyed assorted excitement from tickets to Pensthorpe Natural Park courtesy of Tesco Clubcard vouchers, to an Easter visit to see Kung Fu Panda II via free Club Lloyds cinema tickets and meals at Pizza Express thanks to Nectar points.
However, individual visits to their assorted castles, houses, gardens and beaches soon add up, so that annual membership can work out less expensive.
When I was thinking of joining English Heritage, I had a look at how much family tickets would cost to visit the places we were likely to visit:
£14.00 at the Landguard Fort at Felixstowe
£17.90 at Orford Castle
£19.70 at Framlingham Castle
£43.20 at Audley End (ouch)
£13.70 at Portland Castle while on holiday
Total: £108.50 for visiting each of these places once, even without making a detour to Stonehenge (£40.30, another ouch).
In comparison, annual family membership of English Heritage was £88 at the time, which suddenly didn’t seem so bad.
Even better, I only signed up when I found an offer code for 20% off.
I also joined online via TopCashback, which meant I got another £5.33 credited back.
(If you haven’t discovered the joys of TopCashback or QuidCo yet, here’s my post about the benefits: Money for nothing: cashback websites )
So in the end, a year’s membership of English Heritage only cost us £65.07.
Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you can then take advantage of the assorted events and family activities on offer, and return at different times of year without paying anything extra.
This Easter, we duly headed off to Framlingham Castle to do an Easter treasure hunt.
The children raced around following the clues, enticed by the promise of a chocolate reward. Once they’d discovered all the clues and identified the mystery word, the nice lady in the gift shop handed over a massive chocolate coin and a small pot of Playdoh each.
|Loot from the Framlingham Castle treasure hunt
They also enjoyed taking part in a battle scene (luckily with foam swords…), trying on armour and nearly getting blown off the walk round the battlements.
|Nearly getting blown off the battlements
We headed home windswept but happy, and all for the cost of £1 for two pencils because I’d forgotten to bring any pens. Doh.
|Poster from an exhibition inside the castle
Anyone else found membership schemes with worthwhile benefits?